Beyond this point dragons dwell

Old beautiful map

If you’ve ever worked with maps that have any meaningful level of detail, you’ll appreciate how they are more like dictionaries and encyclopedias than novels. They are reference materials. You don’t read them and study them for fun and memorize or pay attention to them on the whole (most of us don’t, anyway). You only reference them to answer specific questions as they arise. Questions, in fact, you almost certainly didn’t have before they became important to you.

2 Replies to “Beyond this point dragons dwell”

  1. Traditionally cartography is both an art and a science. In North America we tend to emphasize the science side while European cartographers emphasize the artistic side of the discipline (i.e. Swiss maps). The argument rages as to which is better.

  2. The perspective of cartography as an art is used to criticize attempts to automate map design, or to emphasize the creative, intuitive, and subjective nature of maps which makes them so “magical.” The perspective of cartography as a science is used to criticise the subjective and “mapping as a craft” view of cartography, or to emphasize and justify the “rational” methodologies which have allowed cartographers to construct increasingly accurate and “objective” representations of the “real world,” or to reveal map design rules which can be used to optimize the utility of maps.

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